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Falcons claim QB Matt Barkley off waivers

Barkley replaces Feleipe Franks, who was added to the COVID-19 list.

Chicago Bears v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

With COVID-19 delivering a blow to Atlanta’s quarterback room, in the form of Feleipe Franks being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, the Falcons have brought in reinforcements in the form of former USC standout Matt Barkley.

Atlanta claimed Barkley off waivers on Wednesday afternoon, after the Carolina Panthers cut him one day earlier.

Barkley was a former fourth round draft selection in 2013 after previously attaining high school stardom as 2008’s Number 1 ranked highschool quarterback. He parlayed that into collegiate notoriety at USC.

Barkley has started seven career games in the NFL, six of which came in the 2016 season when he was one of three QBs to make at least five starts for the Chicago Bears. He led the team in passing yards, but had a poor 8/14 TD/INT ratio.

His only other start came in 2017 for the Buffalo Bills, where he threw for 232 passing yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions to earn a 117.4 passer rating.

Overall, Barkley has 2,699 career passing yards, 11 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. He joins Atlanta as a depth piece in the quarterback room and will presumably operate as the team’s third stringer this weekend, behind Matt Ryan and Josh Rosen.